Jump racing holds sway across the UK and Ireland on Thursday with four meetings taking place across the afternoon followed by an evening all-weather card.
First off is Newbury before they go at Ludlow, Sedgefield and Clonmel. The final action on the day comes from Chelmsford.
Amongst our Thursday fancies is one for trainer Ollie Murphy who should be a decent price in Newbury’s opener.
12:05 Newbury – Bread And Butter @ 12/1
Olly Murphy’s gelding landed running for this yard, finishing second on stable debut in a competitive handicap hurdle on Punchestown Gold Cup Day in April.
Sadly, he hasn’t replicated that form in four subsequent domestic starts, not being sighted in the first three of them, one of which came over fences.
However, despite beating only two home, he showed a lot more on his last start at Wetherby, finishing fifth behind one of today’s rivals – Whizz Kid – 22 days ago.
That effort had all the hallmarks of a return to form and the handicapper has kindly dropped him further down the weights.
Experienced conditional Tristan Durrell takes over and the well-handicapped 8YO appeals as a sporting bet to get the day off to a flyer.
13:35 Sedgefield – Dragonfruit @ 9/4
A small field go to post for this staying chase and top-weight Light Flicker will have his supporters after a solid run, when shaping quite well, at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting in October.
However, that came off a 305-day absence and this looks a relatively quick second start being just under a fortnight later.
One who’s had more of a break is the Greenall/Guerriero-trained chestnut, who goes best fresh and has been nicely-rested since winning at Uttoxeter in the middle of September.
Raised just 6lbs for that ready success over 3m, he’ll have no problem with the step up in trip – as evidenced by this race last year.
Still in front at the second-last having made all to that point, he tried to take that fence home with him and was soon playing second fiddle to the winner.
He kept battling away, however, and can make amends by going one better on this return visit to Sedgefield.
19:00 Chelmsford – Red Flyer @ 9/2
Karen Jewell’s gelding has been knocking on the door of late and looks ready to land an overdue fifth career success.
The son of Free Eagle was enduring an up-and-down time of it until recording a fine effort in the Jump Jockeys’ Derby at Epsom in September, finishing with a real flourish to go close under Tom Cannon.
He proved that was no flash in the pan when filling the same spot returned to the all-weather at Kempton last month, producing his best effort for a while.
This extended 1m5f will prove no barrier to the chestnut, who posted one of his career-bests over 2m at York’s Ebor festival last year, and this mark looks within range, having just lost out off a pound higher at last season’s July festival at Newmarket.
It all points to a big run and he can round the day off with a winner for us in the hands of Luke Morris.
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